Gift Guide: practical gifts for babies 0-12 months

Here are my recommendations for baby items that will get used regularly and can continue to be used beyond the first year.  I included gifts that range in price, with some particularly affordable ones at the end.  This guide includes new products, as well as some classics that I've included in gift guides in past years

This post contains affiliate links. Please see the Disclosure page for additional information.  This post was sponsored by some of the brands featured in the post.  Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!  

Brinware Silicone and Tempered Glass Tableware

Brinware makes adorable silicone and tempered glass tableware in wonderfully vibrant colors. 

My son is now almost three and  has been using the tempered glass plates daily since he was one.  

I was so excited to learn that Brinware recently expanded its product offerings to include a divided silicone plate and a suction bowl

The divided plates feature cute shapes such as a Fish or Butterfly that make meal time fun. They are made of high grade silicone that can go in the dishwasher, microwave and even the oven! 

The new bowls feature an inner glass bowl with a silicone cover that suctions to the table -- they are the only non-plastic one that I've come across that suction well.  

Exclusive discount: use code BRINWARE15  for 15% off the divided silicone plate and suction bowl (valid  12/8/17 - 12/31/17).

My son enjoying his lunch with  Brinware's bib, plate and mat .

My son enjoying his lunch with Brinware's bib, plate and mat.

If you are looking for non-plastic utensils, I recommend Kiddobloom stainless steel utensils.  They are ergonomic, cute and dishwasher safe and come in the cutest "giftable" box.  Exclusive discount: use code VBSTBABY for 10% off any Kiddobloom item on Amazon (valid through 12/15/17).


Incredibundles has designed adorably chic reusable storage containers and fills them with award-winning toys, books and products for babies – selected by child development experts and approved by parents. Gift-givers can choose from an extensive line of pre-configured bundles or order a Custom Bundle.  My son loves his Sesame Street Classic Character Bundle.  

My son was elated to receive his bundle!

My son was elated to receive his bundle!

Incredibundles also offers unique Bundle Subscriptions including A Year of Toys, A Year of Books and A Year of Diapers

They offer free shipping in the U.S. and also make a donation to a charity with every bundle purchase. Their partner charities include First Book, Sesame Workshop, Water for People, Global Green, CJ Foundation for SIDS and Room to Grow.

Lux Baby Box

Lux Baby Box takes the stress and hassle out of gift giving. Each gift box is curated and coordinated for a classy presentation, and carefully hand packed and wrapped to create an unparalleled unboxing experience. Beautiful gift boxing and greeting card are included at no extra cost. 

Here are some of their most popular gift sets:

Exclusive promo: click use code FREEBD for free shipping within the U.S. (valid  through 1/10/18).

Parklon Play Mat 

I've had my Parklon playmat for over a year and a half and can't recommend it enough! It blends with my decor, is super plush, non-toxic and BPA free.  The style that I have is called Mono Raum.  It has a geometric pattern on one side and chevron on the other.  I leave it out in the corner of my living room, my son plays on it daily and everyone mistakes it for a rug!

My son happily playing on his  Parklon  mat in his room. I have since moved the mat to our living room and it blends in there too! The baskets pictured are available in lots of colors  here  and  here .

My son happily playing on his Parklon mat in his room. I have since moved the mat to our living room and it blends in there too! The baskets pictured are available in lots of colors here and here.

Parklon recently introduced a new "Pure Line," which is even softer than the original line and includes the most adorable prints.  Here are some of the new mats from the Pure Line:

See my exclusive discounts post for a promo code.

Anything from the Aden + Anais Metallic Collection

Aden + Anais swaddles and dream blankets have been popular for years.  My son has been using their crib linen from the start and the metallic dream blankets (pictured below) every night for the past year.  You will get years of use out of a Dream Blanket, it's the most popular nap blanket at my son's preschool! Find other items in the metallic collection here and here.

These 100% organic cotton pajamas are one of the most practical and adorable items of clothing that I had for my son.  They are adorable, comfortable, durable and fit for ages -- thanks to "ready to grow cuffs."  My son wore each pair for at least six months (which is three lifetimes for baby clothes), and they still look brand new!  

Personalized Executive Chair from Land of Nod

My son received this wonderful chair as a baby gift.  At about eight months he developed an attachment to it and started having his morning milk in it.  He continues to use it daily at almost three years old, especially to "read" his books.  I expect him to continue to enjoy it for a few years (I can even squeeze myself into it, which he finds hilarious).  The slipcover can be removed and washes beautifully.

My son reading in his  Executive Chair . Also pictured is  this bookshelf , which fits with any decor and has a small physical and visual footprint.

My son reading in his Executive Chair. Also pictured is this bookshelf, which fits with any decor and has a small physical and visual footprint.

Like the Playmat that I mentioned above, this chair sits in my living room and blends into my decor. The chair comes in many fabrics and styles, see them all here



This toy is recommended for 12 months and up, but I'm all for planning ahead (plus a nine month old can enjoy it closely supervised).  If you are going to get only one toy for a one year old, this activity cube should be it. Solid, amazing quality and so many activities for different ages and stages. I see my son evolving in how he uses it over time. He got it at 11 months, used it daily beyond age two, and at almost three years old still uses it regularly!  Every kid who comes over loves it (even those who never took to other activity cubes).   It is one of my go-to first birthday gifts.

Pipsquigz Silicone Toys

Pipsquigz are silicone rattles that can suction to smooth surfaces.  My son and all of his little friends got a ton of use out of these, especially when they were teething.  We brought them to all of our playdates.  When other babies mouthed them I didn't mind at all, I just tossed them in the dishwasher when we got home.  They can also double as bath toys (click here for more dishwasher safe bath, teething and other toys).

Green Toys Sorting and Stacking Toys

Green Toys are made in the USA of 100% recycled plastic and contain no phthalates.  Most (if not all) of the toys are dishwasher safe, which I interpret to mean they can also double as bath toys. 

Green Toys makes a few sorting and stacking toys, which can be purchased individually or as a bundle. Click here for the bundle, here for the sorter and here for the stacking toys.  

Grimm's Wooden Toys

Grimm's makes phenomenal quality wooden toys.  The color is from certified non toxic water based stains. No worrisome paint or lacquer.  Grimm's toys are sure to become heirlooms and double as decor!  You can't go wrong with any of their toys (here are a whole bunch), but here are three that I particularly like and have given as gifts:

VTech Walker

I have a love hate relationship with this toy.  It is bright colored plastic, lights up and plays many different sounds and songs.  My first thought when I initially turned it on was "could this give my baby a seizure?"  So for weeks I had the sound and lights disabled.  Eventually I enabled them.  The piece with all the fun parts comes off, so you can place it on the floor and reattach it once your bub is ready for a walker.  

Click through the image for the color of your choice.

The Vtech walker is a great gift to give as it is inexpensive but looks substantial and will get a ton of use.  

Organic Baby Paper

Babies will entertain themselves for hours with this simple crinkly toy.  

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments make a classic gift and will get plenty of use!  My son has the first five pictured below (click through the images for details) and has played with the others at classes and friends' homes.  See my post on our festive and affordable first birthday party for more details on the instruments and how I found them.  

If you prefer to gift a pre-assembled set of instruments, here are some great options:

Noggin Stik

I didn't have this, but when I polled my Facebook deals group for their favorite baby gift, the Noggin Stik got a lot of votes.  Apparently babies can't get enough of it!

Sassy Wonder Wheel

The Wonder Wheel is another toy that my group members recommended, especially for using on a high chair tray.


Building a child's library is so important.  Check out my lists of recommended books for babies and for for toddlers.   All of the books on these lists have remained in my son's regular rotation for years.

I hope that you enjoyed this post.  Please check out my other guides, including my upcoming guide to gifts for 3-6 year olds and my guide to gifts for 1-3 year olds and moms!  You can find all of my gift guides here. If I missed any great gift ideas, please let me know in the comments below!

Also be sure to follow along in my Facebook deals group, where I post deals on my favorite and popular products for the entire family.